During the 2011 Antigua Charter Yacht Show we were invited on board MUSE for a delightful lunch prepared by Chef Caro Uy. Prior to being seated on the spacious aft deck, we toured the yacht and were impressed by the cheerful interiors and surprised by a cabin configuration that accommodates nine adults and three children.
MUSE is a spacious Sunreef 70 that features three doubles, two twins, one single and a Pullman, making it an ideal option for families with children. The yacht is very informal, not showy or ostentatious, guests can relax without worry that their young ones will endanger artwork and décor. The Owner successfully designed interiors with the charming ambience of a house in the south of France.
While the heart of MUSE is home, the soul is food. Chef Caro and her husband, Captain Jez Fletcher, are world travelers and both love to cook cuisine incorporating menus and ingredients from distant lands. Captain Jez invites guests of all ages to assist with the handmade pasta that they can hang on a rail above the galley counter.
Our lunch on the aft deck of MUSE that day started with a course of delicate prawns dusted in coconut and served on a locally grown pineapple wedge. This was followed by pork belly confit marinated overnight in a dry rub of coriander, cumin, rosemary and sea salt and slow cooked, also baked pork ribs inspired by Vietnamese cookery, finished in a Vietnamese caramel sauté with balsamic and tamarind glaze. These innovative and delicious dishes were a testimony to the creative talent that seems to come quite effortlessly to Chef Caro.
The dessert was a delightfully effervescent champagne jello, which we all decided was perfect for any final course, but particularly for the forthcoming holiday celebrations. We asked Chef Caro for the recipe, which, transcribed below, presents a very clear picture of how easy it is to do at home, as well as the endearing charm of Chef Caro.
“You start off with ½ a coffee mug of water at room temperature. I’m very low tech. Dump in either 12 sheets or two packets of unflavored gelatin and stir it through the water, this is called blooming the gelatin. You let it soak up a bit of the water so that its easier to dissolve later.
Take a small pot and pour another ½ coffee mug of water and a full mug of sugar. Warm up gently until the sugar is dissolved, kind of like bartender syrup, and pour this into the bloomed gelatin. At this stage it will look like a grainy mess. Stir it through to dissolve it nicely and just let it sit to cool. You can do this in the morning, then have a cup of coffee, or do your face, that’s what I do.
Here’s the trick; the sugar and gelatin syrup, which has been well mixed through, should be just nice and cool, not setting. It should be in a big mixing bowl because the next thing to do is get a bottle of champagne, cava or prosecco. This is really important; you resist the temptation to just down the champagne yourself. Instead you must dump the entire bottle into the bowl, a very liberating experience.
Give it a quick whisk through, pour it into a non-reactive container, plastic or good stainless, give it a quick taste, but not for the reason you think. You taste it to see if you want a little squisher of lime or lemon juice. I used a quarter spoon for brut champagne, if you’re using a demi-sec that somebody mistakenly gave you and you think, well I’ll make a bit of champagne jello, you may want to use a bigger squisher.
Pop it in the fridge for four or five hours. If you prefer you can pour it into nice little shot glasses or martini glasses and layer it with berries soaked in Cointreau. Do not use pineapple or kiwi because they have an enzyme that dissolves the protein in the gelatin, use any other fruit you please.
The trick to preserving the bubbles in the champagne is to be sure the syrup mixture is cool but not yet set. Do not put it in the refrigerator to cool because the sides of the container will start to gel to quickly. As you can see, it’s dead easy and tends to be very popular!”
Thanks so much Caro! Happy Holidays!
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Chef Caro Uy won third place in the Concours de Chef at the 2011 Antigua Charter Yacht Show.
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